No more impunity against Journalists in South Sudan

By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei

The Minister of Information and government spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth said that there is no more impunity for crimes committed against Journalists in South Sudan.

Makuei was speaking yesterday in an event organized to commemorate the International day to end impunity for crimes against journalists.

He however acknowledges the recent arrest of a female Journalist who reports for Voice of America (VOA) South Sudan in Focus program.

The Journalist Diing Magot, a freelancer corresponding for VOA was arrested by security operatives in Juba and alleged to have been found covering a protest by youth without her ID card.

He said journalists should help the government through conforming to the Laws while exercising their duties of informing and educating the public.

Meanwhile in August 2017 American journalist, Christopher Allen, was killed in frontline in Yei River County area, while covering clashes between the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition.

Makuei then acknowledged the killing of the Journalist by government forces unfortunately terming him as rebel, “We have killed a white rebel (Journalist) because he was found on the side of the rebel, so he was a rebel,” he was quoted in media report.

But that’s now things of the past according to Makuei as he preaches no more impunity for crimes against journalists.

The Information minister instructed Journalists to follow the country’s media rules and regulations from the Media Authority, citing that Journalists shouldn’t abuse their profession.

“If you are abusing your profession then you are in conflict with the law,” he cautioned.

“Today is an International day to end impunity for crimes against journalists in the world, because its overall crime, its global issue, and South Sudan is not an exception,” he noted.

“If you don’t conform then know you are in conflict with the law, there is no Country in this world where Freedom of expression is absolute, this impunity in our Country is no longer there, its only when you move against the law that you are arrested,” he stated.

According to some report between 2013 and 2015, the number of Journalists killed in South Sudan had jumped to seven.

South Sudan was ranked 128th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders’ AnnuaWorld Press Freedom Index, released in May 2022.

The report was released to coincide with the United Nations’ annual recognition of World Press Freedom Day. 

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